Tag Archives: Obalisco

Catch up time

I seem to be remiss these days. I suppose that as time goes by, I find more to do here and less time to write.

Our last trip out to Canning was more successful. So now, it appears, we will be going regularly. This time it was followed by a trip to 1810.  The food here is still good and cheap, but the menu is limited. For us, they have the best empanadas in Buenos Aires, I’m sure some will disagree, but taste is always subjective.

My towel went missing last week and I was unable to find it. My pronunciation of “He perdido mis toalla” just drew blank expressions. However on Friday in El Beso, Marcelo came in to sit by me as usual. He said “Tengo you towel” probably a lot better than my attempts to ask for it. As I had, by now bought a new one, it means I now, at last have a spare. Twas not the best El Beso day so we again retired to The Coffee Store and had some medialunas with it.

On Saturday we decided on Los Consegrados. I had texted Maria, to tell her we would be going and not to Obalisco. I did not expect her to turn up. So I was quite surprised when I saw Feto sitting on the next table to me. Soon after Maria arrived. We had some good dances here, and Viv pronounced herself satisfied.

Afterwards we took the colectivo home. Feto knew  better than me where the stop was. I thought it was on Entre Rios, but it was, in fact much closer. We jumped off way before Gascon, Marias stop. Feto and Maria wanted to come with us but I told them to stay on. I am relying on the fact that Feto is local and knew where to get off.

Sunday is designated rest day now that Fulgor is closed. I don’t get much rest though. First there was a bit of gardening to do. Repot the Money tree and plant the thing Walter had in water. I had some compost left over and that went into the ginger plant. It was looking a bit hungry. I also polished the mesita in the lounge.

We then set off for Easy. On the way we stopped at Murillo for a coffee. There was an offer “Media porcion torta y café $125” well it was too good to resist, so we had the apple pie (Tarta Manzana). Maria called while we were there but my internet was patchy and we were not going dancing tonight.

In Easy, we could not find tiles that would do the job. I wanted something for the window ledges, but we settled on some architrave made with fibre and covered to look like oak. The ones we chose had been reduced to half price. We also chose a “hamper” for the dirty washing.  At the till it came to $4,000, far too high I thought. I queried it. She had not charged us the lower price. She called for a supervisor and continued serving other customers. I went with the supervisor to check the price. When we came back the price was put into the till and the supervisor left. We were left standing on the outside of the till, while the queue got bigger the other side and we were ignored. After an interminable time we managed to get the supervisor back and she opened another till for us.  The original till girl had no intention of ever serving us again.

It was quite a walk back with my two 8′ lengths of architrave, avoiding all the overhangs as well as the traffic.

There was an organic vegetarian bar opposite El Imaginario. It is gone now, I never saw too many customers in the time it was there. Now there is a new bar “Zorra” so for a change we thought we would give it a try. The range of food is quite different to the usual Argentine fare I had Bondiola wraps and Viv chicken quesadillas, as we had two each we swapped one. I shared some of my chips ( don’t know why I got chips and she did not) and we had some salad stuff with it.  They did not have black beer here, so we tried their “Caramelo”. It was so nice we had more.

I think we will be coming back here.

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Revolutionary food

A sad note today, our last week begins. So every where we go will be our last time although we do go to Nuevo Chique twice a week. This will not actually be our last visit but our last Tuesday. Many who go on Tuesday do not go Thursday so already the goodbyes have started.

Nuevo Chique was not so good for Viv today. There were very few men but just as many women. At six she had enough and told me she was off to El Revolucionario. As instructed, I danced on. It became more and more difficult for me to leave as the women wanted me to dance, but by seven I had changed my shoes. This was not enough though to win my freedom, Paloma grabbed me, and it was after all a Biagi vals. So I danced it in my Hotters, not the best dancing shoes, but very comfortable. Glad I stopped as I saw Juan our old dance teacher on the floor dancing with Dora, nice to say “Hello” again.

On the way out I bumped into Marriane, seems she too was having problems and decided to head for Obalisco.

When I arrived at El Revolucionario Viv was still drinking coffee. I fully expected her to be on her third cup, but she had been across the road watching the dogs at play, so had not been there long. Beer was now in order, no Quilmes but they did have Imperial Stout, that’ll  do nicely. The food was good too, but I still cannot get used to the idea that pies and pastry are starters and salad is the main course.

Still the cheapest place for food though and good service. Pudding, as always supplied by our local Ice cream gal, tasty.


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The milonga suit gets aired

There is a general strike tomorrow and I am still unsure how it will affect us. Viv has had to change her shopping order for when we return, just in case we are delayed. I have also had to warn my airport taxi that I may not be on the flight from Paris. I am just hoping that the chaos has cleared by Wednesday when we fly.

I finally dug out my milonga suit as this may be our despidida. We plan on going to Chique tomorrow, but who knows who will be there? Meanwhile we are off to Obalisco. The subte is running normally today thankfully as we take three trains. Funny how every station we arrive in the train has just left. We are later today anyway as Viv wanted to wash the towels, so we did not get the best seats.

Viv never missed a tanda which made me happy, but you should have seen the faces of the women when they saw my suit. I felt like telling them it’s only a washable business suit, but they just loved it. One lady I danced with said “bailando con un novio” I told her if it was a wedding suit I would have had a flower. Still it was nice to be appreciated.

The little lady on the next table had her birthday, so I was up in a flash for her birthday dance. How different to all those years ago when Gloria had to almost force me up. Just to make things even better there was cake for everyone as well. Well everyone except Viv, somehow she had been missed.  I searched and found a spare piece on Graciela’s table and took it to Viv. Next tanda Jong also brought her a piece. That’s what you get for complaining. Two pieces of cake.

Viv drew my ticket out for the sorteo. They have one here where people buy tickets and all the money goes in to the prize. There were less people here today but I still got $240, covered my entrada, drinks and some.

When we left we said goodbye to Gabriela and her daughter and promised to return next year. We left them with my email and facebook, but Gabriela is already on my friends list, so I don’t expect too much.

Now for that no90 colectivo and hop off at Corrientes for some Ice-cream for an after dinner treat.

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Día Nacional de la Verdad y la Memoria

There is a bitter irony here. The President is trying hard to make the world see “Las Malvinas son Argentinas” without much success thankfully, even her plans to put it on all the busses has not got off the ground. Nobody seems to notice that without the defeat at the Falklands, the military Junta would not have collapsed. (Well not at that point anyway)

So although many hundreds, sadly, lost their lives, probably thousands more would have joined “The Missing” had it not taken place. History would have taken a different turn and perhaps the Kirchners never would have been in power and, who knows? Maybe there would still not be democracy here.

Also a day of memory for “The Lost” from the days of the Junta, sponsored by Christina, seems, to me, a bit pointless without proper investigations into “The Lost” and their missing descendants, and a tad Ironic while still sabre rattling over the Falklands.

There are two massive sores in the Argentine psych, both of which Christina seems to relish picking at. This is a great country, but it could be so much better if only wounds were allowed to heal.

Funny enough for a bank holiday there are two men outside working down a manhole. I never noticed this before, the electric, the drains, the gas, all services have to smash up the pavements to do their work. Today I find that only the telephone people have the foresight to put tubes in the ground connecting a network of manholes, and they work on bank holidays. Someone should remind me next time I have a go at the telephone people.

We arrived at Obalisco early expecting it to be crowded and certainly even at this early hour many seats are occupied. The first hour was a disaster for Viv, I danced with her more often than I should, hoping that no one noticed. Apart from Jon I was the only dance she got. Funny how the crowd changes though and it got much better for her. Not for the Lady sitting next to her though. She was an Argentine who has lived most of her life in Miami. I had a dance with her, but she left shortly afterwards, not having the benefit of a partner to occasionally make her less of a wallflower. Two dances in three hours in three hours, she had good reason to feel miffed.

We stayed on until after the sorteo, Viv missed the $500 by one number, but a miss is as good as a mile. We were lucky with the colectivo on this feria day, a 90 arrived not long after we did, and we had a seat all the way back to Guardia Vieja.

We dropped our shoes off and headed for Imaginario. There was going to be a live band tonight called El Doblado and we had arranged to meet some friends. It was however still early and we wanted some food first.

We wondered where the band would perform and had a look around. Then I noticed some sounds coming from the cellar, but it appears we were not allowed down there. Soon they had struck up and were rehearsing at full volume. We decided that we were in the best place to listen. I think they had their volume set to 13.

We enjoyed an almost full concert, but when 22:00 arrived it was quiet down there. Mauricio arrived with an American friend Antonio, but there was no sign of Kym. Philippe, it seems, thought it was Sunday today and was with friends. Mauricio was enjoying sending him messages in French, but he would not be coming either.

Probably just as well, as the band did not strike up again until quarter to twelve, by which time we had, had enough and were ready to go. It looked like they were charging at the top of the stairs, to go down and see the band, and I did not feel like paying whatever it was, for just five minutes. It was long past our bedtime and so we decided to leave, we said our goodbyes on the corner.

We enjoyed an unusually quiet traffic free nights sleep.

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For the best food, go to the old lady

I was dreading the next electric bill, after all we have used the air con almost non stop this last month. It came through the door this morning  and there it was our bill two months with full use of the air con $32.85 a little over £1.50. You just can’t figure it.

We spent the morning sitting in the sun, but had to come inside every so often just to dry off the sweat. The forecast said 27 deg but it was much hotter in the sun.

We took the subte to Obalisco again, it is so much easier even though we have to change twice. This time however we were left waiting in Jujuy station for quite some time. I don’t know what happened but three trains passed in the opposite direction while we waited, still the whole journey from our flat to Obalisco only took forty minutes, we have waited longer for a colectivo.

It looked a whole different crowd again and we both had some difficulties getting dances. It was not one of our worst nights by any means, but Viv looses patience easily these days. Still we stopped for the sorteo which we did not win then took the 151 home.

We went up washed up and headed out again. There is a confiteria on Gascon but when we got there it looked like the fine food we had before was just a breakfast menu so we walked back down Humahuaca in the hope of finding a Chilean restaurant. we found it, but it was not yet open. We knew that Imaginario would not be open Monday or the place with the two surly girls so we headed for Guarda la Vieja.

We were determined not to have empanadas again so we searched the menu. We saw Bondalinas de Teriyaki and asked the waiter what it was he said “Carne” then said “Cerdo”. So that was it then Stout and Bondalinas.

Well we have had some expensive meals, some rubbish meals and some good meals, but this was the best we have yet had and the whole lot with drinks and tip $240 or £12 for those who have not been paying attention. I just don’t know why we ever try anywhere else.


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As there was no Yoga on Friday, there was an extra class today. So while Viv was off to Yoga I had a visit from Mauricio.

I was also expecting Philippe, so we sat and talked for some time over coffee. After Mauricio had gone we finally got a call from Philippe just as we were about to go out. He was finally coming for his washing machine, but we were off to Obalisco. It was not a problem though as he still has his keys.

We took the subte this time. After last weeks debacle with the 168 colectivo, we did not want to spend hours waiting again. I had my map with me this time so we took the B line to Pueyrredon then the H line to Hmberto Primero and finally the E line to entre Rios. That got us to within two blocks, with no delays and moving at speed, with a seat on each train. This has to be the way to go.

Because we moved so fast we were early and there were few for us to dance with.  For some reason Viv always does better when there are fewer dancers, so that kept us happy.

I saw some old faces from the El Arranque Mondays, nice to catch up and dance. I danced with the Japanese lady who has just arrived on the scene. She is cute and quite funny, especially as she speaks almost no Spanish and even less English. She still managed to make me laugh. Unfortunately she always sits in the wrong place, in El Arranque she sat in the couples seats, so I never danced with her there. Even here she was sat with the touristas, but by now I knew she wanted to dance. I wish I could communicate with her, she is a lovely lady missing out on so many dances.

Graciela also makes me laugh. Her machine gun Spanish mostly goes over my head, but the laughter is infectious. I like to finish each dance bang on the last note and Graciela always says “Chin chang”. Now apparently “Chin Chan” is something to do with cards and “Chin chin” is a toast “Super chin” is a supermarket. There is a whole language of “Chin” which she was explaining to me. Unfortunately I have forgotten most of what she said. I struggle with Argentine Spanish, now I have been introduced to even more idiosyncrasies of the language. I will never catch up.

We stayed for the sorteo, I was not sure if my number was 696 or 969, but it never got called, so I was saved the embarrassment. They have a second sorteo where all the money collected is given out as prizes. Never won that either, time for home.

We have some very nice mince to have with baked potatoes, shame not to finish it off well. So we got off our 151 at Corrientes and stopped off at Farricci for some ice-cream to finish.

We got back and the washing machine has finally gone.


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Angel of the ferreteria

Off for another try to get our telephone cable. I was not looking forward to this, I half expected to told to bugger off, as I did not even have a receipt for the old one. The shop was full when I arrived, the old guy serving, and no sign of the younger deaf guy who had served me. He came in just as the last customer was being served, he seems to be my angel of the ferreteria. He bounced about and looked pleadingly at me “Ya no funciona” I said. He put his hands together in an act of supplication and took my cable, he went around the back and came back with the remote for the aircon. Then he did a little ta da! when it came on.

Then he fetched a pair of scissors and went to cut the ends off my cable, then ah! He went off to try the phone. With my cable now plugged in he did a sort of weeping motion and shook his head. He came back and tried to cut the ends off with the scissors, when that did not work he picked up the snips. Eventually when he had crimped two new ends on he tried it again with the phone. Ta da! and two thumbs up it was working, again with his hands together “Disculpa me” he said. “No problem” said I.

I returned and the cable worked perfectly. I should never have worried about returning the cable, the guy was sweet. I also had a lot of entertainment, far more than a pound would have bought me anywhere else.

It is a day for ferrerias, we took a trip to Easy as well. We wanted some hooks for a washing line and some sealer for the joint on the tap. I managed to get covered in soldering flux, as it was leaking all over the shelf. No one in the store seemed bothered and, as usual, there was no soap in the toilets to get it off my hands. TIA.

On the way back we stopped off at a dietetica just to see what they had, and, deep joy, they had peanut butter. It is not as good as the Dutch stuff we brought with us. It has hydrogenated oil in, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Off to Obalisco so we set off to the bus stop. We waited twenty minutes without a sign of a 168, then we saw one coming at great speed. We stood in the road with our arms out, along with several others who were waiting. The bus went straight past with the driver waving his arms, and the bus was not even full. In fact it was nearly empty.

We waited another quarter of an hour and then we said “enough” it was four more blocks to Carlos Gardel and we still never saw a 168, We took the subte to Pueyrredon then changed onto the H line until Humberto primero. Then 9 blocks to the milonga. It had taken us nearly an hour and a quarter to get there but at least we had arrived.

I asked one of the ladies I danced with how they coped if they had to work or go to school, with the unreliable transport. She said “don’t you have these problems?” she really believed that this sort of thing is common everywhere.

For some reason the men were a different crowd and Viv again had difficulty, but all the usual women were there for me. My Chilean lady from Chique was there as well, she had apparently been to hospital, something to do with her eyes. I did not fully understand what she was saying, but I think she will be there tomorrow.

We did not win the sorteo again, so it was off home on the 151. We saw three 151 pass as we came out, the bus problems continue, so a 90 colectivo it was.

After washing our hands we were off out again to try the bar on the opposite corner of our block. Another error, it is closed Monday, still a short walk back and there is another bar we have not tried.

We had the pechuga curry and I had a quilmes stout to go with it. It tasted very nice, but it was not curry or even close, more like chicken supreme. I really should know better by now, but at least we resisted the postres.

The Megatlon gym was on the other side of the road, it was quite amusing to see all the feet in the air. Viv said she could not eat postre while watching all those fit people. Just shows how important location is.



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Gavito’s Grandson

We were not well today and spent most of the day in bed. I did get out earlier though, Sebastian said I could pay AFIP at the post office and they would send the parcel. Fat chance, after an hours wait the girl said I must go to the Aduano at the airport. So I must spend£50 in taxis to get something they value at £1. We are back to this; they can keep it, whatever it is.

Interesting thing though in the post office, they have a guard , with a gun. He spent most of his time enforcing the no Movil rule. Well they do something right here. Well almost, should have shot a few. (Only joking honest) On the way back a man asked me for Columbres, I told him it was eight blocks down Salguero and the other side of Rivadavia. He seemed to understand, then went off in the opposite direction. Crabtree strikes again?

Back home again and back to bed, I slept through until three with the help of a Vicks cold remedy. I still felt  crap but we decided to go out anyway.

Wouldn’t you know it, two 168s passed as we walked to the stop, it was going to be a long wait. Some lady came over and asked about a number 5 collectivo. I could not help, but there was a five on the parada, so we assumed she was in the right place. She told us she was from Ukraine and had trouble with Yo and que.  She talked mainly to Viv as most people do, Viv, of course, didn’t understand a word.  Eventually our bus arrived, I never saw a number 5, I hope our Ukrainian was OK.

The bus was so crowded we got off a stop early again, the lights were on red on Independencia so we went up a block into Entre Rios and we were travelling faster than the bus anyway.

Obalisco was brilliant, Viv only missed one tanda and that was when she went out for some air. Daft really it was hotter outside so she just came back in. There was a guy sitting by me, he often dances with Viv but today he could not see her from where he was. He was commenting all the time, he was especially caustic when the women would walk past and say to me “Hace calor”. “Es Verano” he kept saying. When a Pugliese tanda came on he was especially verbose, they dance too fast, they don’t respect the pauses and so on.  I don’t dance Pugliese because I don’t think that I can do it justice, but there was one couple on the floor who definitely did. I watched them as they filled the floor, taking advantage of every space and moving with absolute grace.

As I suspected there was a demo later and it was the same couple. My table companion and oft times commentator, told me that the dancer was the Grandson of Gavito. I guess it’s in the blood.

Can’t be bothered cooking so it’s back to Guardia la Vieja again. Of course as it is on the corner of Billinghurst the bus took the normal route and stopped outside of our apartment. It gave us a chance to drop off our stuff first.

Even the black beer did not help me sleep.  This dammed flu needs to go now.


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El gran fin de semana

Strange place this, it is a bank holiday weekend so nothing is open. Just like anywhere else, you would think, but you would be wrong. The ferreteria across the road is open, the salad shop (that is never open) is open and quite a veritety of places are open. Now on bank holidays people are off, and when they are off they go out. Non of the museums are open, many of the bars are shut as are some of the Ice-cream shops. As I said, it is all a bit strange. Not put off we decided to go to Easy, because Viv wanted a reading lamp. Not only did we get a lamp but we had a choice of bulbs. We were able to test them in the display lamp so we now have one that suits Vivs needs. With a 28W energy saver it is quite a powerful thing. We finally found a shoe rack as well, although it does look like it may not last very long. Shopping done, we stopped at Murilla (Pronounced Murisha) for some juice before the walk home. All set up and tidy now we can go off to Obalisco for the afternoon. We expected our faithful 168 collectivo to be nearly empty, as it is a ferria, but no way it was packed to the brim. We got off again at Carlos Calvo, hot and flustered. When we got to Obalisco it was also full to bursting. I was squashed between tree men and had to move one of them every time I wanted to sit down or get up. This I did quite a lot, so many women. That said I think that there were many men that Viv knew. I did see her miss the odd tanda but all in all she did well. Then The German guy got her up. Considering Viv does not dance open hold and do ganchos, she followed him well. She did not realize that I was dancing just behind her, my dance partner had no idea what was amusing me so much. I danced with the lady from Galicia again, she has taken to calling me “Flaco”. I told Viv and she said “Gordo, more like”, She speaks more Spanish than she lets on.

Viv said 7:30 to eight so when the tropical started at just after 7:30 I called time. We reached Humberto Primero just as our 151 pulled out. There was no way he was stopping for us now, so we resigned to a bit of a wait. When the 90 arrived I asked if it went our way, the driver said it did so we jumped on. When I gave up my seat for an old lady she regaled Viv about the youth of today. Viv just looked totally blank, it was quite amusing really. Again the bus turned off before Corrientes, because of the carnival, they said. So we jumped off. I stopped at Farricci on the way, for some ice-cream to have with our after dinner brownie. It set it off quite well, the trouble is we need more brownie now to finish the ice-cream. Viv said “then we will need more ice-cream to finish off the brownie”. “And the problem is?” but she was having non of it. She had seen through my plan. Far too tired for any of that murga madness tonight. Early night I think.

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Early night

There are still a few minor jobs to do here. So I take a solo trip to Easy. Most things I can get locally, but the problem often is, what to ask for.
I managed to get some cable ties, that are not on my urgent list. I got a replacement double for my single socket by the desk. I also got another four way extension, although this was not exactly what I wanted.
I found just the right tub for some plants on the balcony, but it was so heavy that there is no way I am going to carry it the length of Salguero.
Still I came back reasonably successful and proceeded to fit the new socket and affix the extension to the wall. Same problem, no drill. I marked the wall by tapping the screws and they sort of stuck. Well, nothing ventured, I proceeded to screw them in, and it worked. Horrible walls will never take a rawlplug, but it seems, you can just screw into them.
Back to Obalisco again today. The 168 colectivo passed us as we walked to the stop, then a second. It was too hot to run but now there was a big queue so we stepped up the pace. A dark skinned guy with dreadlocks and reflective sunglasses was about to get on the bus when he saw us. He stood there one hand on the bus and one leg on the road, holding up the bus. “Gracias Señor” I said when we got on. I did wonder though if he had done us a favour when the bus was full to bursting and hardly moving. We were covered in sweat by the time we arrived at Carlos Calvo.
Numbers were right down in Obalisco and despite the fact that they are friendly we had trouble getting dances. I soon exhausted my supply of favourite ladies and Viv was often with the same couple of men.
The canyengue teacher Martha died on Saturday and Gabriela played a Canaro canyengue tanda in her Honour.
We left early having run out of partners took our 151 home. This time it diverted up Billinghurst then Sarmiento before turning back into Salguero and resuming its usual route.
Back to the old lady for our evening meal, then an early night.


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